Go to content

The problem

The European Parliament has voted to ban dental amalgam from 1 January 2025. If agreed by the European Union later this year, this decision will hit all four UK nations, but will have a disproportionate impact on services in Northern Ireland.  

There are still a number of process steps at European level in the next few weeks that will either change or finalise this situation. If the total phase-out of the use of dental amalgam and prohibition on the manufacture and export of dental amalgam in the EU kicks in from 1 January 2025 - then we are concerned this could impact the financial viability of NHS dentistry.

The solution 

We have stressed there are currently no alternative restorative materials that compete with amalgam on speed and ease of placement or longevity.

We are asking all four Chief Dental Officers to work together, and with the profession and industry to: 

  • Urgently address the impact of the direct application of the EU regulation to Northern Ireland
  • Adopt a renewed focus on prevention to reduce the need for dental restorations
  • Work with industry to secure an ongoing supply of amalgam
  • Work with us to ensure that there is no financial impact on dentists from the need to use alternative materials. 

Our impact

We have long campaigned for a pragmatic phase down, rather than an abrupt phase out, of dental amalgam. Through the Council of European Dentists (CED), we have contributed to discussions with the European Commission and information for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). 

In an open letter to all four UK Chief Dental Officers (CDOs) we’ve made our position clear.

In Northern Ireland, over 700 high street dentists signed up to our letter to DoH Permanent Secretary Peter May, that a combination of the looming ban on dental amalgam, paralysis at Stormont freezing health budgets and a financially unviable contractual framework could doom the service.

We continue to work with our EU partners to influence the ongoing legislative processes.

Dental amalgam FAQs

The European Parliament has voted to ban dental amalgam from 1 January 2025. We’ve put together the answers to some frequently asked questions on what the ban could mean for dentistry in the UK.